General Motors has announced that the US Army is going to start testing a new fuel-cell-powered pickup concept – the Chevy Colorado ZH2. The off-road, aggressively styled pickup was developed together with the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center with real-world testing to begin sometime next year.
To develop the fuel-cell powered electric Colorado ZH2 concept, GM started with the standard Colorado chassis and then stretched it so it is now 6.5-feet-tall and more than 7-feet-wide. The pickup also gets a specially modified suspension and rides on massive 37-inch tires. According to GM, the army is going to test the many benefits that a fuel-cell electric powertrain can provide, like near-silent operation, high wheel torque and reduced fuel consumption.
“The Colorado ZH2 is a terrific example of GM’s engineering and design skill in creating an off-road vehicle relevant to a range of potential users,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM Global Fuel Cell Activities. “Over the next year, we expect to learn from the Army the limits of what a fuel cell propulsion system can do when really put to the test.”
The Colorado ZH2 concept also features an Exportable Power Take-Off unit that allows the fuel cell to power activity away from the vehicle, such as remote locations where electric power may otherwise be unavailable.